Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Most of what I know of HDR (and how it has been used) is over-the-top and cheesy. It requires a light touch, I think, to be taken seriously. However, the occasional "Thomas Kinkade" treatment of a photo can be kind of funny.



It's not totally maxed out, but the tubing does bring to mind the brightly colored pig intestines I saw on sale at Mercato Centrale yesterday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

San Miniato al Monte

Yesterday, we hiked up to one of the highest points of Florence to see San Miniato al Monte, one of the most gorgeous basilicas in Italy. Here are some before, during, and after shots. Unedited.

Most of the group (minus Allie).

Florence city view
View of Florence on way up to San Miniato al Monte.

Old city wall (across Arno on way to San Miniato)
Old city wall.

Kitty in the Giardino delle Rose (closed)
Kitty cat in Giardino delle Rose. It was closed and this was shot through the gate.

View from San Miniato
Florence from San Miniato al Monte. Plus strange guy's head.

Interior San Miniato
Interior of San Miniato.

Interior San Miniato

Interior San Miniato

Interior San Miniato
...some more...

Interior San Miniato
...aaaaand the last interior of the basilica.

Crypt detail - San Miniato
Detail on a crypt outside of San Miniato.

View from San Miniato

Sleepy guy in crypt

Artist near San Miniato
Art artist was selling paintings on our hike down from the basilica.

Cool rider
Ciao! Isn't she cool?? This was close to Ponte Vecchio.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Firenze Day 2

Firenze Day 1 is a blur because I was so tired from jet lag. Today is day 2 and it is almost 1 AM. So, no stories, just pictures. Straight out of the camera, no editing. Went bopping around today and later this evening.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Roasted lamb's head

This entry on Serious Eats blog about roasted lamb's head reminds me of the nude figure drawing class I took a few years ago. We all tried to act all blase' and chilled out that there's a naked person standing in front of you for three hours. Whatever, this is art. On the last day after we turned in our portfolio, though, the truth came out. One person in particular expressed her horror at having to draw a man that was crouched on his feet. From behind. AND his behind was at her eye level. Think about it.

So, the author of this blog seriously compares how romantic a pig's head versus a lamb's head would be as a dinner for two. Most of the comments are straight-up serious in return except for this little gem:

I know that I would find a way to cook it and enjoy it, but I honestly just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Thank you, resolutejc.

Dogs 2nd Chance

Dogs 2nd Chance is a non-profit dog foster group in Memphis that often hosts adopt-a-pet days at various local pet stores like Petco. I visited them at Poplar & Highland this past Saturday and got to hang out with some cute puppies!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Anatomy of a goldfish

Illustration by Jason Freeny of Moist Productions

Jason Freeny of Moist Productions makes the most awesome illustrations that show us the inner workings of our favorite snack cracker, Goldfish. Check out his blog for similar enlightenment on balloon animals, Hello Kitty 'n' such.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Metal Museum

Lucky for me, the National Ornamental Metal Museum is located in Memphis. I don't know what we did to deserve them, and whoever made that happen should be thanked profusely. I've been meaning to take a class there for years, and - with the help of my awesome friend Britton - this finally happened a few weeks ago.

I had no idea that so much work went into the creation of a copper weathervane. The cost of any handmade one you find should be immediately doubled. Tripled. Promise the artist your firstborn. My point: it's wicked hard. I am truly impressed with the people I met there that have chosen a lifetime of very difficult manual labor in picking metalwork as their artistic medium. I spent three days working on my weathervane, and on Sunday after class ended I had to go to school to get some work done. I literally skipped into the darkroom...that's how happy I was to be there after spending three days blowtorching and banging on copper. Mind you, I had a great time. It was just so exhausting!

Here are a few pictures from my weekend spent there.

This is Jim Masterson, Shop Foreman at the metal museum and resident badass. He is putting the finishing touches on my copper weathervane here. I had just enough energy left at this point to hold up my camera.

After I cut the cat out of two larger pieces of (originally flat) copper, Kevin soldered them together. You might think at this point that I'm lying and they made this for me. You'd be partially right - this was a couple hours after class officially ended and about 20 minutes before I left. They are much, much speedier at this type of thing.


It is a mistake to scratch your face after banging on copper all day. Big mistake. Side story: I looked pretty much just like this when Britton and I went to dinner at Soul Fish in midtown. She went to the restroom while I walked up to the register to pay the check. The manager saw the empty table and immediately asked the girl accepting my check "if those two women ran out on their check." We looked sketchy. And, yes, Britton totally called him out on it on our way out the door. Even if it's hilarious, she doesn't let that type of thing fly.


Blowtorch. I still can't believe they let me use this thing. Have they met me?!?

Britton made an awesome dragonfly!!

Here's my cat still in the die.


Love it!

They're working on a very large fence (that word doesn't seem to sum it up but I can't think of another one right now) for a large estate in Cookville, TN. Watching them work on this made my copper weathervane action look wimpy.

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